Chapter 7 - Coming Back to Me - Trial of Water!
November 23, 2005
December 8, 2005
|Long ago, the tribe of Alph flourished. However, a war between them and Ecruteak was destroying the habitat for the Pokemon and disrupting their lives. Suicune, Entei, and Raikou intervine, and a quest ensues. isuckatsummaries.|
Chapter 7 - Coming Back to Me - Trial of Water!
Chapter 7 - Coming Back to Me - Trial of Water!
alph7AlphChapter 7: Coming Back to Me- Trial of Water||*||After the Trial of Wind had finished, the group had slept like logs.The nighttime stars danced in the black sky like diamonds embedded in velvet.And, at the rest stop, someone had just returned from the realm of dreams.Mareeps silhouette climbed up onto the roof of the rest stop. Her ruby eyes observed the night sky, and she couldnt help but smile. Being out here, like this, with friends, doing what was previously thought impossible...It was exhilarating.She had never felt like this at home, before.Her heart felt so full, it seemed like it would burst.Mareep jumped as she heard footsteps behind her. Whatre you doing up right now, Mareep?Spiky blue hair poked up from the hole in the floor that served as the exit to the roof; a rope ladder hung from the edge. Articu pulled himself onto the stone roof and sat beside Mareep. The purple-haired girl scowled. I could ask you the same thing. Arent you a really heavy sleeper?Articu shrugged cheerfully. I dunno! Some say that, but weird things wake me up. Like, if it starts snowing, I wake up. Or, if someones walking.Mareep grumbled, crossing her arms. There goes my quiet moment on the roof...Articu chuckled. Admit it, you like my company.Mareep stared blankly at him. What makes you say that?Articu flinched under her cold stare. Ah, fine, fine. If you want me away so badly... He yawned. Ill go back to sleep. And with that, the chiefs son climbed back down the rope ladder, leaving Mareep alone on the stone roof again.In the secrecy of the starlight, Mareep smiled to the moon.||*||Good morning everyone! Squirt shoved open the door to the boys room, shouting them into consciousness, very similarly to how she had done with the other girls. Latias peeked cheerfully over Squirts shoulder, holding a plate and stick high in the air. Dont make me have to gong you guys awake!In one side of the room, on one cot, Articu was sprawled out, blanket and pillow flung across his area. One leg hung off the cot, and his arms were in either direction. He snored loudly.Then, in the polar opposite side of the room, Yuki was curled up in a blanket in the corner between the cot and the wall. His normally spiked bangs were dropped across his face, and his pillow was wedged under the cot, blocking his ear-- no doubt to prevent the sound of Articu snoring from keeping him awake.In the center of the room, Zeni lay on the ground, the blanket pulled up to the Squirtles chin.Wara had taken over and dominated Yukis cot, and was smirking in his sleep. No doubt he was dreaming things no young person would ever think of...Squirt sweatdropped. UP, UP! She called, snatching the plate and stick from Latias and banging the two together.Zeni rolled over and sat up, rubbing his eyes. ::Why the fuss so early?::Wara rolled over and grumbled, ::Five more minutes...::Articu acted as if nothing had happened; in fact, his snoring just got louder.Yuki mumbled something under his breath and tore the pillow from his head, hurling it at Squirt, who quickly blocked it with the gong-plate. Shutupleavemealonesleep.GWAH! Eek! Squirt and Latias fell to the floor as Mareep kicked them aside and marched into the room. She was obviously in a morning-bad-mood. EVERYONE GET YOUR LAZY BUTTS OUT OF BED RIGHT NOW, OR I SWEAR, PIIMA WILL COME HERE AND ZAP THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS OUT OF YOU-- AND I PROMISE BACON WILL BE INVOLVED!Yuki, Wara, and Articu almost literally shot up out of their beds, flinging their blankets and pillows onto the cots and shoving on their footwear. Were ready...? Yuki suggested, sweatdropping. His bangs still flopped over his forehead.Mareep grumbled and stomped off, muttering something about lazy, good-for-nothing people.||*||Within the hour, the group had recovered from their morning episode and were now on their way, continuing to Olivine.As usual, Yuki lead the way. Articu followed behind, walking with Latias: The Great Priestess had been stuck carrying the perverted Wara, as Squirt had insisted that she already took a turn, and Mareep in the morning was not one to do something against her will.... Peacefully, anyway.Mareep and Piima were next, both giving off an aura of stay away. For Mareep, it was explained by her morning bad mood. For Piima.... Well, she was naturally like this.Squirt followed behind them, with Zeni, who was cheerfully riding on her shoulders and humming a cheerful song.Suddenly, Latias stopped walking, ... I have no idea where were going.Yuki, who was ahead, stopped as well. .... Well, I dont know where were going...Squirt pointed frantically. Butbutbut you were LEADING! You should know where youre going if youre LEADING!Yuki sweatdropped turning. Okay, well, if I didnt lead, who would!?Mareep and Piima strode casually by the others, who were freaking out still.Remember? If were lost, our Pokemon will know the way. She smirked triumphantly, resting her hands behind her head. The purple-haired girl looked down at her pokemon, who returned the smirk.... But in a creepy, gothic-pokemon way.::Springs... we have to go to the springs...::Squirt looked up cheerfully. Eh? Hot springs? Is that where the next trial is? It must be water then... She mused, playing with her seashell necklace.Piima looked over her shoulder to glare at Squirt. ::... Not hot springs... just springs.::.. Eh? .. alright then... Im still confused, but sure. Squirt shrugged, walked forward to join them.Latias pondered for a moment about the Trial. If Squirts guess was correct... how would one be tested on the water? She continued to ponder as she took a step forward to follow, grabbing the confused Aritcus shirt collar and dragging him along. Ah, ow, ow, choking me, Latias...!Yuki blinked and sweatdropped. .. water. Great. Oh no, it wasnt that he was afraid of water or anything... He just hated it in general.||*||Piima stopped in front of a bush, then turned to face the others. ::... These are the springs...:: Zeni hopped down from Squirts shoulders, and piped up to continue explaining. ::Water pokemon thrive here! This place is usually kept secret from all humans, but... Since you guys are gonna help us, well let you see. Besides, were being told to bring you here.::... Oh, yes! Wara-chaaan~! Squirt kneeled down to Wara, who (once Latias had gotten fed up with carrying him) was now walking on the ground. ::Hmm?:: Can you identify the pokemon thats telling us to do this? Being a pokemon, do you have any idea? ::Thats easy, every pokemon knows this ones name!:: ::... Lugia. Lets move on.:: Piima interrupted, pushing through the leaves of the bushes.Wuahh...!A beautiful scene unfolded as the group pressed through the veil of trees and bushes.A clear, crystal blue spring was in the center of the area. A small waterfall poured from a ledge into the spring, which seemed very deep. Bright grass grew all around, with colorful flowers sticking up all over. As it neared the water shore, the rich soil slowly faded into white sand.Wow, wow, this is where well be doing our trial!? I cant wait, its beautiful! Squirt clasped her hands together, her blue eyes wide with excitement. She spun around to share her joy with Zeni, but none of the pokemon were there; they had all vanished. Articu groaned. Aw, shi--||Now begins the Trial of Water.||Suddenly, the entire area began to glow with a blue light. Latias, Yuki, Articu, Squirt, and Mareep found themselves floating in the air. The group were pushed forward by an unseen force, until they were hovering directly above the spring.||This Trial is a bit complicated, so it will take a bit more explaining...|| The voice began.||The spring, although small, is very deep. Many tunnels run into its side- and, in four of them, there are air pockets where you can restore your breath. However, once you use them, the air pockets will disappear.|| Mareep spoke out. But... if there are only four... What will happen to the fifth..?Silence filled the area. ||Then they will be dubbed the loser. ... However, I shouldnt say there are only four- There are actually five. But, the fifth is in the same tunnel as one with an air pocket. There would be two air pockets in that one tunnel, and the second would have the Idol. Once the Idol is found, then the top will open and you will be free to go to the surface.||None of the group seemed to pleased with this trial. ..So, well all have to split up, right? Articu asked, stepping forward on the invisible area on which they stood. ||Yes. Each of you will take a different path. If you reach the end and there is not the Idol, you must go back and explore another tunnel. Your insticts will usually tell you the correct way to go, but they could be incorrect. Now, with that out of the way... Let the trial commence.||The floating five immediately found themselves falling into the water, and once they had all gone under the surface, an invesible shield goated the top, preventing their escape.Mareep immediately dove for the first tunnel, while Articu took the one across from it. Yuki hesitated a moment before heading for the one below Mareep, and Squirt took one below that. The tunnel that Latias explored was in between the depths of Yukis and Squirts, but across from them.Mareep swam slowly, not wanting to waste her energy and oxygen. The tunnels seemed like they should get darker, but some force lit them up. She looked around the tunnel for a moment before bumping her head on something- the end of the tunnel. Darn it... She cursed mentally and quickly turned around and swam out of the tunnel before heading to a lower one.Articu had better luck. While the Idol was not at the end of the tunnel, he had found an air pocket. He quickly poked his head into it and took a few deep breaths before diving back down. The air above his head was them engulfed by the water.A voice rang through the caverns. ||One air pocket has been found. Three more and the Idol remain.||As Latias explored her tunnel, she couldnt help but wonder, Is it going to tell us every time someone finds an air pocket?The Priestess grinned triumphantly as she found an air pocket. Quickly taking advantage of it, she swelled with confidence - this pocket wasnt at the end of the tunnel. The Idol might still be at the end!||Two air pockets have been found. Two more and the Idol remain.||Squirt bit her lip as she progressed further into the tunnel. The water was heavy, pressing down on her and everyone else as they made their way through. ... oh! Squirt almost called out as she saw an air pocket ahead. She quickly took a deep breath of the air, and remained there for a moment, catching her breath. With that, she dove back down and ventured further into the tunnel.||Three air pockets have been found. One more and the Idol remain.||Meanwhile, Yuki was slowly progressing through the tunnel. Ugh, how he hated water.. It brought back bad memories... As the thoughts came flooding into his mind, he quickly shook his head and pressed on, cursing himself as he heard that only one pocket remained. He had to find it soon...Mareep squeezed her eyes shut, pulling herself through the cavern. How she missed air... Air. How nice the word sounded! Cool, crisp, fresh oxygen....She opened her eyes and charged forward, trying not to think of it. She could make it a little further... There was still one more air pocket left, maybe she could find it...Her ruby eyes lit up and she swam rapidly to the bubble of air that floated in front of her. As she broke into the cool air, she coughed and took deep breaths. Ah, that felt good....With a mental, Im sorry, she dove back under the water, continuing on into the tunnel.||Four air pockets have been found. Now, only the Idol remains.||Yukis icy eyes widened. Well... this seriously SUCKED. He swam further into the cave, and, nearing the end, peered deeper in. There wasnt the Idol... The idol wasnt here.The boy quickly turned and propelled himself off the wall with his feet, pulling himself along the wall. His lungs burned inside of him...Articu blinked once, twice. Had he seen a blue glow in the tunnel..? As he paddled forward, he felt immensely dissapointed- the blue glow had been nothing more than his imagination. And he was starting to run out of breath, too...Latias continued down her cave, brushing aside her hair from where it had floated into her face. She reached the end of her tunnel, and, saddened, floated there. The Idol wasnt here. And, with the length of this tunnel, it wouldnt be wise to try and go out, just to waste energy. She might as well save her breath and wait here for someone else to find the Idol.Mareep cheerfully exited her tunnel, then dove into a wider one to the side. She had been the last one to get breath, so she was pretty well off...Yuki, meanwhile, was indeed panicking. His vision was starting to blur with the lack of oxygen, and his throat burned. And, for some reason, it hurt to move. But, if he just waited here... While he had the energy, he might as well move.Squirt closed her eyes for a moment. Oh, would this tunnel ever end? She didnt know what to do... she thought about everyone else, who was probably still exploring their tunnels; but here she was, not doing anything. How could she betray her friends like that? And using up an air pocket too, just to sit around and do nothing...She opened her eyes slowly and sadly. She blinked in surprise as her shell necklace floated in front of her face. She smiled at it, remembering what Zeni had said.::Then you can show your friend what youre doing...::Squirt clenched her fist determinedly. Thats right! I have to do this to protect Zeni and everyone whos been kind to me! I gotta keep going forward! She smirked, punching the cavern wall in determination. ... Eh?The dirt crumbled away and dissapeared, and in the indentation she had left...Was a glowing blue orb in the center of the Idol.Squirt smiled proudly and quickly reached out to touch it. As soon as her hand came in contact with the Idol, it immediately exploded in an array of blue light, wrapping around her legs in the shape of a translucent mermaid fin. She powerfully zoomed out of the tunnel and into the main spring.||The Idol has been found. The Trial has ended.Return to the surface.||The glowing shield that had covered the top of the spring dissolved into the water, and Squirt swam to the surface. The spluttered and took deep breaths of the air, grinning proudly.Latias, with a new hope and happiness, swam out of her tunnel quickly- time seemed to go a lot faster with the knowledge of something good at the end...Articu had been waiting at the end of the tunnel, and immediately kicked off of the edge to join Squirt at the top. You.. won? He asked, smiling, between breaths. Mareep quickly paddled from her tunnel, seeing Latias crawling slowly from hers. She swam over and assisted the Great Priestess to the surface.They were greeted by the smiling Squirt and Articu, who both seemed overjoyed to see them. ||The winner is Squirt. The loser is Yuki.||Eh..? Squirt tilted her head, then felt worry overcome her. By the rapidly melting smiles on everyone elses faces, she was pretty sure that they were all thinking the same thing.Why hadnt Yuki surfaced, where was he..?Almost instantly, the entire group dove back under, searching the first entry areas to each tunnel. Squirt, with the help of her translucent tail, was swimming rapidly in and out of each of the tunnels.Finally, reaching a narrow tunnel, she found what she was looking for.Yuki hovered slightly in the water, a few feet into the tunnel. His hand floated limply above him, where it had been extended to the surface. His eyes were barely open, hovering between consciousness and unconsciousness. He could just make out the blurred form in front of him with a glowing tail, grabbing him arm and pulling him out of the tunnel before everything went black.||*||Come on, this way, Shiyu! Shiyu.. that was when I still went by that name..This way, this way! The silhouette of a little girl kneeled on top of a rock, overlooking a waterfall which poured from a moutain nearby. Isnt it pretty Shiyu? Yes, it is... I tilted my head confusedly at her.. why had she taken me here?The silhouette turned to look at me, her eyes sad... Dont you remember? Tomorrow, you have you be taken away... You have to start training in the army. Remember, last year, how everyone had been very scared about the war that started?Oh. Yes... That evening, I was going to be drafted into the army to train, already. Even 10-year-olds had to train to fight... Was the Ecruteak army really so strong that Alph needed every person they could get?Well... My friend turned to look over at the waterfall. A cool breeze blew by, and her short hair ruffled forward. Since you have to go, I thought we should come here. I mean.. if this might be the last time I see you, we should make it special... So, I brought you here! I love waterfalls, dont you? I looked back over at the cascade of tumbling blue water. Yes...She kept her gaze at the water, but she hugged her knees. Im scared.Why are you scared..?Im scared that youll die.I smiled sadly. I wont die. I promise Ill come back one day, stronger than anyone else! Ill be a war-hero. Ill save Alph for you!She chuckled and nodded. Yes.. I bet you will.I was about to say something when a harsh bark interrupted me.YOU! You two are from Alph! Weve told you time and time, that the Union Cave is our territory!She and I looked up in shock to see an Ecruteak soldier standing on the ledge above us. In the blink on an eye, he had jumped down you our ledge, spear raised. If you like these caves enough that itll be your grave... Then let it be so.I didnt even know that I had done anything. In a minute, I had pushed her off the ledge and into a bush, calling to her, Run, and dont stop until youre in your house! She nodded, and went forward, but hesitated. B-but what about you, Shiyu..? Ill be fine, go home, get help!I saw her go off, before I turned back to the guard above me. His spear was raised at an angle, and soon, I felt the wood of it hit my head, then everything was black.When I woke up, I was in a dark place. My head hurt, and the ground was cold.As I later learned... I had been taken as a prisoner of war. Ecruteak was keeping me as a prisoner for trespassing on their property.I remember staying there for two years.When I was finally saved by two dozen Alph guards, dressed in their great armor, I was overjoyed. I couldnt wait to get back to my family and friends.After the long trek back home, I wasnt greeted by my sobbing and smiling parents.They had killed themselves after I disappeared, assuming me as dead.Were they ashamed of me for getting caught like that?Everyone must have been ashamed of me.Even though the next thing I wanted to do was run to my friend.. I knew that she would never forgive me. I lied to her, then left her. She was probably ashamed of me too.I changed my name from Shiyu to Yuki. I started over a new life, working as a spy for the Alph armies.But, even as ashamed as she would have been, even as angry or dissapointed in me..I wanted to see my old friend again.||*||Yuki slowly opened his eyes, coughing. I hadnt had that dream in a while... Its probably because I had to be in the water.. Ever since then, Ive hated water. I hate that waterfall. Its what ruined everything... it killed my parents and tore my friend from me.. He sat up, but dizziness overwhelmed him and he lay back down. What happened, was the trial over? Above him, the stars were shining again. How long had be been asleep? Yuki slowly sat back up, blinking twice to clear his vision. The glowing embers of a campfire were in the center of everyone, and Articu, Latias, and Mareep were all huddled together under the blankets, sleeping. Piima, Zeni, and Wara sat ontop of the blanketed mass.Next to him, however, Squirt had fallen asleep sitting up. Her head lolled forward, and she snored slightly. .. Was she waiting for me to wake up?He coughed again, and Squirts eyes flickered open. ... Mm, gmorning.... Oh!! Yuki!! Youre up! Her sleepy eyes instantly shot wide open. You should lie back down! You still have a fever...Soon, her cries had awakened the other, and Articu jumped up, clutching a stick, as if he expected someone was attacking.Unfortunately, while doing so, he shoved Latias into Mareep, who flew into a tree, and sent Wara flying off of the blankets... straight into the hot, glowing embers of the fire. ::EEEYAAH! OHMYGOD, thats HOT!:: The snow hat pokemon ran around it circles as Zeni shot a water gun at him, which sizzled on his burning back. ::Ahh~. Thank you.::Mareep rubbed her eyes, seemingly unaffected by all this. .. Eh? Mr. Anti-waters awake! Latias clasped her hands together, smiling. Oh! You were asleep for... How long was it, guys? Articu scratched his chin. Hm... Id have to say abooout..... 10 hours. Yuki sweatdropped. ... That long? Mareep nodded. That seems about right. The Trial started pretty early in the morning, actually. Judging by my instict, it seems about 8:00-ish right now.Squirt had been cheerfully going through her haversack during the whole conversation. She cheerfully shoved a slice of bread at Yuki, who blinked. Um... No thanks, Im not really up to eating anything...Squirt scowled. No! If you dont eat anything, youll get sick! Just have this one slice of bread, and Ill leave you alone.Ahh, we should have a late-night party! Who would we invite, idiot? Latias chuckled, smacking Articu over the head.Yuki smiled mentally as he gnawed absentmindedly on the bread. On the outside, however, he kept is usual, I could care less expression.